If you are playing Diablo 3 seasons as a solo player, here is a guide with some tips on how to efficiently level your character from level 1 to 70 in a season. This is for someone who is playing the game solo. Much faster methods are available if you are playing in a group (such as power leveling) but I like the solo challenge of the game better.
Diablo 3 Season First Steps
After creating a new Diablo 3 seasonal hero or rebirth an existing one, go to the Game Settings menu and set the difficulty to Hard, choose Adventure Mode, and start the game. In adventure mode, hire your favorite follower (I normally choose the Templar). Immediately take the weapons from the 3 potential followers, the shield from the Templar and equip the best weapon for yourself, the shield for yourself, and the second best weapon for your chosen follower. You should now salvage at the blacksmith the items you didn’t use and sell the items that you can’t salvage.
Campaign Mode to Obtain Leoric’s Crown
You should now leave the game and go back to the game settings menu and start the game in Campaign Mode. The goal of playing through the campaign mode is to get Leoric’s Crown. Leroic’s Crown will be usefully in the leveling process because it grants an added bonus to gems placed in it. Leoric’s Crown is a guaranteed drop from defeating the Skeleton King in campaign mode with your hero at level 5 or greater. It can also drop randomly before you defeat the skeleton king. Regardless of how you get it, once you have Learoic’s Crown you can safely leave campaign mode and head back to adventure mode for the rest of the season.
Adventure Mode Bounties and Nephalem Rifts
As you progress through the leveling process you should salvage at the blacksmith any items you don’t immediately use for your character or follower (don’t forget to equip items for your follower and choose skill for them at level 5, 10, 15, and 20). Salvaging items provide much-needed crafting materials. Gold isn’t very important in the game it is rarely correct to sell items for gold. Continuing in adventure mode you should do the 5 bounties in each act to get the bounty cache and to acquire the plans for the Born’s Defiance and Cain’s Fate sets that eventually drop from bounty caches. You may have to do more than the 25 total bounties (5 in each act) for these 2 sets to drop, but as a solo player it’s critical that you acquire these 2 sets for leveling. After acquiring the 2 sets you should now do nephalem rifts for the rest of the leveling process. Feel free to increase the difficulty level of Diablo 3 as you level your character and find it too easy.
Level 8 - craft 2 handed axes or crossbows
You will need to spend gold to start training your blacksmith to craft items. During the leveling process you should continually craft better weapons. Craft 2 handed axes at the blacksmith as you level up. (if you are a Demon Hunter craft 2 handed crossbows) - Better 2 handed axes are available at level 8, 16, 21, 29, 33, 37, 41, 50, 54, and 58 (2 handed crossbows follow a similar pattern).
Level 15 - gems start to drop
At level 15 gems start to randomly drop in Diablo 3. You should add the largest ruby gem you can to Leoric’s Crown to take advantage of the experience gain multiplier. You can combine gems at the jeweler and you should always combine your ruby gems to make the biggest one you can. The other gem types aren’t as important in the early game. Because gems now start to drop you are now also able to add sockets to items at the mystic. So before salvaging rare and legendary weapons level 15 and above you should use these items to attempt to enchant them at the mystic with a socket for the season quest. These early attempts for the season journey chapter IV requirement (reforge socket on weapon) will be cheaper than later in the season. Keep in mind that the cost to enchant an item increases every time you attempt to enchant the same item. So you may want to only try a few times on each item to save gold. Once you have successfully added a socket to a weapon at the mystic you can just continue to salvage these items at the blacksmith.
Level 21 - Born’s Defiance Set
At level 21 you can craft and equip the chest armor and shoulders from the Born’s Defiance Set. Don’t bother crafting the set sword as you will be continually crafting new weapons as detailed above in level 8. You will get a 20% experience boost by wearing these 2 items throughout the leveling process. You did get the plan for this by doing bounties as detailed earlier in this guide.
Level 23 - Cain’s Fate Set
At level 23 you can craft and equip the boots, gloves, and pants from Cain’s Fate Set. You are using Leoric’s crown in the helm slot so that is why you don’t craft cain’s memory. You will get a 50% experience boost by wearing these 2 items throughout the leveling process. By equipping Leoric’s Crown with the largest ruby you have and items from Born’s Defiance and the Cain’s Fate sets you will have a significant increase in the experience you gain which will make leveling faster.
Level 61 - death’s breath start to drop
You should now be playing Diablo 3 at least at Master difficulty. If not, increase your difficulty from Hard to Master. Death’s Breath start to drop from the more challenging monsters in the Diablo 3 at level 61. Doing rifts is probably the easiest way to acquire death’s breath. Once you have a death’s breath you should level your blacksmith to the maximum level. With a maximum level blacksmith, craft level 70 2 handed axes (or 2 handed crossbows) until you get one with a secondary affix of X% chance to on hit. If you can also get one with a primary affix of X life per hit, you’ll almost be guaranteed to get a good roll for a reduced level requirement. Enchant the other secondary property at the mystic to get level requirement reduced by X. You can now equip a level 70 weapon at level 61. At level 61 you should stop using Born’s Defiance and Cain’s Fate set items and start equipping better items as you find them. You can continue to use Leoric’s crown up to level 70 as it proves the largest experience boost with a ruby gem. At this level marquise gems start to drop in Diablo 3 and you can safely sell any of your lower level gems as it’s not worth the cost to level them up at the jeweler.
Level 70 - greater rifts
At level 70, Greater Rift Keystones start to drop from nephalem rifts. These keystones are your entry fee for greater rifts. Greater rifts are the primary end game in Diablo 3 and the difficulty of these rifts scale infinitely. At this point in the game you probably also have some blood shards. You should start using these blood shards to gamble on armor items at Kadala. I wouldn’t recommend using blood shards for anything other than armor items as the cost is too expensive. I hope that this guide has provided some useful information for newer players to Diablo 3 on how to efficiently level a seasonal character. Feel free to leave a comment with any additional tips you have.